Red lipstick might be dead. Or at least it looks that way, judging from Sunday night's Grammy Awards red carpet. Instead, celebs rocked nude mouths, black liquid liner—and some seriously gorgeous long waves (hello, Beyoncé and Chrissy Teigen).
Here are all the night's beauty looks:
I should loathe this—since when do I like purple wigs and false eyelashes?—but somehow, it kinda works for Katy. At least from far away, where you can't see the telltale wig line. Even though it is a wig, there's a playfulness to the style that's really attractive. She has great skin (...I think?), so it's too bad we can't see more it and less foundation. The eye makeup is actually quite good: I love the thick cat-eye liner with soft shadow to add dimension, and I can even live with the falsies. But I'm not feeling that hard edge to her bottom lip.
When you've already pushed the beauty boundaries dozens of times before, I suppose the most shocking thing you can do is to go in the opposite direction—understated prettiness. I didn't expect this from Rihanna, and I love it. Hair pulled back into a simple bun (with a few escaping tendrils) keeps the focus on her natural beauty. I love, love, love that she kept the makeup minimal, for once. No false lashes, no cray colours. Just strong brows, a bit of warmth on the lids and cheeks, and sheer marsala on the lips.
And here's another example of natural beauty. (Well, maybe not THAT natural.) But Bey, too, skipped false lashes and bold colour, in favour of glowy skin, a bit of gold eyeliner and glossy nude lips. Alas, the lip liner is way too much up close. But nevermind... I can't stop staring at her hair. These are the new beachy waves—more authentically beachy and imperfect than the ones of yesteryear, which were too obviously curled.
I'm not sure how I feel about the new Sexy Gaga. Can't we go back to OTT eyelashes and face horns? Anyway, she obviously did NOT get the memo about the natural look, going for a long grey wig that's even more detectable than Katy's around the hairline. Her eye makeup is hypnotizing me, though. Against her fresh skin and stained lips, the intense glittery green kinda works... for a music event, that is.
Nicki has really changed her beauty signature, huh? It used to be all rainbow wigs and Barbie lipstick. Now, we get normal-coloured hair with nude lips, black liquid liner and strong brows. There are things here that I still wouldn't recommend for real life—the false lashes and the drawn-on arches, for example—but overall, I have to applaud this pared-down beauty look. I especially like all the light in the centre of her face. Very flattering.
I've been giving Taylor some major side eye lately (like, was this really necessary?!) but I'll give beauty credit where it's due. This is one of her better looks lately. I like that her hair isn't trying too hard—it's just a simple, soft, healthy-looking lob with subtly flippy side bangs. (Why she then added those earrings, I can't say. Speaking of Etsy...) She's also treated us to different makeup, hooray! Instead of her boring go-to liquid liner and red lipstick, we get a reverse smoky eye in blue. I'm 99 percent on board except that she pulled a Heidi Klum and whitened her lower waterlines.
Who else is ready for Miley to ditch this hair? I don't care if it's just a colour change or if she grows the short cut all out. I just need something. Because this rooty slicked-back 'do isn't doing it for me. Go here if you need reminding of Miley's tremendous beauty potential. As for makeup, I like that she isn't piling on Katy Perry levels of foundation. But a lil' powder and eyeliner would probably do wonders.
SIT DOWN, Madonna. And I'm not being ageist or whatever—I would feel the exact same desperation vibes from anyone else who pulled this stuff on the red carpet. (I mean, a butt scrunchie? What?) I have to wonder if the netting was a strategic move to distract us from whatever's been happening to her face. Not that her cosmetic interventions are anything new—people were saying she had a facelift at the Grammys 10 years ago! For what it's worth, that lip colour is fantastic.
Look, Ariana Grande Latte is doing the lower lip liner thing too! They ALL do it. She's also rocking her signature "sexy baby" look, which continues to make me uncomfortable. Not much has changed this time, except a stronger cat eye with some way-too-heavy black liner in her inner rims. She also overdid the spray tan and now her face doesn't quite match. That's what we call The Eagle.
Do you think it's hurting Zendaya's brand that every time she comes onto a red carpet, you'd never recognize her from the time before? I'm assuming this is a wig, and I think I preferred the last one. But you know what, her makeup game IS improving. This foundation's a way better match than that grey mask. And she has very good brows. The lipstick scares me, though.
I think this look really suits Jessie—at least more than her AMAs hair and makeup. I would've preferred the hair pulled all the way back into a low bun (a bit more chic), plus stronger brows and less spindly lashes. But her skin is gorge, and the berry lipstick is amazing on her. Also note her rounded Cupid's bow shape. So pretty!
Madonna's not the only one on this red carpet who could take things down a notch. Fortunately, Ashanti's makeup somewhat makes up for her boobtacular outfit. Girl has excellent brows, and the shimmery-smoky eyes look great on her.
Iggy's braided crown has inspired bird's nest and Challah bread memes, and I don't why—considering there are so many worse hairstyles out there. I think it's actually cute! She looks like her name should be Heidi. The makeup, however, is underwhelming. I like the pink lips and low-key eyes, but the foundation seems a bit heavy/greasy. And I'm not understanding her moles, which appear to be drawn on with black pencil. Why not brown?
Oh wow! Miranda wins this red carpet as far as I'm concerned—she has never, ever looked better. They're saying it's a 20 pound weight loss, but I don't know if that's the whole explanation. Compare and contrast with her CMA Awards look. REALLY different. Is it that she's majorly lightened up her makeup and got rid of the spray tans and contrived hairstyles? Or is it something along these lines? Whatever it is, it worked. Love the hair, love the skin and most of all love the pink lipstick!
Get a load of the brows on this red carpet newbie. They couldn't be more perfect. Apparently she is known for black liner and red lips, but switched it up here with pretty pink cheeks and lips (framed, of course, by those amazing arches). I like that you can see her real skin, and she didn't cheap out with the lashes.
Ciara was one of my absolute favourites at last year's Grammys, so not sure what happened here. Suddenly, she looks a bit... masculine. It's not that there's anything technically wrong with this—great brows, subtle smoky eyes, nude lips—but her old softer (and lighter) hairstyle was so much more flattering than this strong, slicked-back 'do.
We've already contemplated Gwen's before and after, so I won't even go there. I think she looks okay here, with a few caveats. The chola lips are a no (did she forget the lipstick part and just went straight to gloss after the liner?). Bring back the red lipstick, Gwen! I also feel she could do with less blush. But it is nice to see her in a subtler palette, and that voluminous updo looks fab.
So the big news in Kardashian land is Kim's new haircut, or maybe just removal of her hair extensions. The extra-long waves were indeed getting old, so I like this new look for her. (From the photos I've seen, I'm not sure she does, though.) As for her face, it's fascinating to me that she does all that Fraxel, yet still wears so much foundation. Lips and cheeks still looking very inflated.
So Rita chopped her hair off. I'm really not feeling the short hair on her (nor do I love the cut itself—nothing compares to The Elsa Pataky). Don't you miss the days when she wore it in a curly bob with her signature red lipstick? Makeup here is much heavier, with a dramatic silver highlight at the inner corners. I don't love it but I don't hate it.
Finally, a non-rock star on this red carpet! (Well, Anna could be. Have you seen 'Pitch Perfect' yet?) Anyhow, I'm appreciating her low-key beauty vibes, of which her tousled hair is the crowning glory. She's sorta committing lip liner crimes, but her insanely perfect skin just about makes up for it. I'm torn on the black waterlines. They're a bit harsh up close, am I right?
Haven't seen Jen on a red carpet since last June! She looks basically the same, but with much better (less choppy) hair. Now that we're doing extreme close-ups, you can see how drawn-on her brows are, which is a shame. But, I very much like the graphic cat eyes with the pop of purple on the lips. And she has a nice, subtle highlight going on in the centre of her face.
This hair, OMG! So good. It reminds me of my own (circa age seven) when my mom used to braid it and then brush it out the next day... except better and way more voluminous. Chrissy's colour is gorge as well, and I love that her makeup is all tone on tone. Everything is harmonious here and working perfectly together.
Kelly looks so happy here. I don't know where the mohawk went, but I'm sure glad it is gone! (Or at least hidden.) As for makeup, well, she always does cray lashes—but at least the eye makeup seems a bit cleaner this time. And the magenta pink lipstick is lovely.
Another celebrity hair change was Nicole's new sleek lob. Huge improvement over the last time we saw her, with the aging long waves. Now her hair is just the way I like it: crisp clean blunt ends, a deep side part and a smooth texture. This is far more anti-aging than whatever she does at the dermatologist's. Speaking of which, her lips look fine but that forehead is TOO smooth.
Can you believe Courteney is 50 years old?! I think she looks great, if a little red in the face. (Derm procedure?) Even still, she really has the most amazing colouring, clear blue eyes contrasted against jet-black hair. It means she doesn't have to do much with her makeup to look striking; here, just lashes and a bit of soft shading around the eyes.
Welp, Katharine tried the runway wet-look hair trend, and it didn't quite work out. These things are best left to models, after all. The rest of her doesn't say "high fashion" enough for it to make sense. But the golden eye makeup is good. Very good. See? We don't always have to go dark and smoky.
Last time we saw Kat, she was piling on so much makeup, it distracted from her pretty face. (And hairline. She has a lovely hairline, don't you think?) Here, she's still wearing a lot, but at least it's in a more neutral palette, with a focus on brows and lashes. Speaking of lashes... I'm trying to figure out why we're suddenly seeing people on the red carpet with one side longer than the other. (Also see: Sadie Calvano.) Any thoughts? Makeup artists need to get on top of this.
I didn't realize until now that Pauley looks a lot like Jessie J. Same colouring, same skinny brow sitch. Unfortunately, it looks like Pauley got hold of that Dior eyeliner I was using, but got the execution all wrong. Hint: If you do hot pink on the lids, then it's probably a good idea to skip it on the lips. Her green eyes would look great played up with smoky colours. And she could re-think the side ponytail with wet roots.
And now I shall leave you with Sia, who basically said "F--k it" and covered up most of her face with this cray wig. (I understand that's her M.O.) Well, it's one way of dealing with red carpet makeup.
Who had your favourite (and least favourite) beauty look on this red carpet?